Tom Scudamore thrilled to be back on Dynaste in France this weekend
To be honest I’ve been a little disappointed with how the summer’s gone for me. I would have liked to have ridden more winners. The horses have been running OK but I thought I would have been a little more on Richard Johnson’s coat-tails. But it is what it is. He’s going to be very hard to catch from here, but I’ll be trying my very best.
I feel as fit and as light as ever, and I’m just looking forward to getting on as many good horses as possible and riding more winners. Because I’ve been riding all summer it doesn’t feel any different from a riding point of view as we approach the autumn and the first Cheltenham meeting. However, where I do notice a change is when I go down to David’s (Pipe’s), as I did last week and start schooling the better horses, like Dynaste, Liquidator, Stars Over The Sea, and that’s when it starts to kick in and you notice a change. You’ve been riding horses all summer, and schooling horses all summer, and then suddenly you’re getting on those types of top class horses and you start to realise what you’ve got to look forward to. I go down to David’s once or twice a week, and school them, and I occasionally gallop them, but they have their routines and I don’t want to mess them up .
The horse I’m looking forward to most this season is Moon Racer. The performance he put up in the Champion Bumper was great and he’s a horse that fills me with a lot of excitement. His whole attitude, his class, makes me feel that he could be better than anything I’ve sat on before. He’s back from his holiday. I’ve seen him but haven’t sat on him, and I won’t until he’s close to being ready to run. He looks fine and I know David is happy with him. He’s quite simply a horse with enormous potential.
My first ride of the day at Chepstow is in the 3.20pm on Blaklion for Nigel Twiston-Davies. It’s a really nice spare ride to pick up. Nigel is famed at having his horses come to hand early on and Blaklion was one of the best novice hurdlers last year. He won a nice race at Cheltenham, on top of the Persian War at Chepstow, he was a decent bumper horse too, and he looks like he’ll make a nice chaser. It’s a competitive race but I’m looking forward to riding him.
In the 3.55pm I ride Stars Over the Sea. He started off last season really well and then we took on the big boys and he ran well without winning. He was fourth at Aintree and with a little more luck he would have been closer. He wouldn’t have won but he showed me that day that he was a horse with an engine and with potential. This 4 year old handicap hurdle has thrown up some good winners in the past. I’m sure this year’s race will throw up plenty of winners. I’m hopeful that Stars Over The Sea can go very close. He seems pretty straight. I sat on him earlier in the week. He’s got a good chance.
If you’d asked me this time last year which horse’s I was most looking forward to, The Liquidator probably would have been top of my list. Unfortunately he had to have the year off, but he’s making his reappearance in the Silver trophy Hurdle at 4.30pm, and hopefully he won’t have too many cobwebs. David does have a very good record of getting horses read off a very long layoff. It’s an ideal place for him to start. He’s going to make an exciting chaser. As a novice hurdler he ran some really nice races. He only really disappointed once and that was in the rearranged Tolworth at Kempton. He ran well to a point in the Supreme Novices and he then ran very well at Punchestown when last seen. Whatever happens on his first race back he’s a very exciting horse for the season ahead.
I don’t think he wants it too quick, so if the ground is quicker than being reported that would be a worry but I rode at Chepstow the other week and as long as it’s similar to that, we’ll have no problems.
In the 5.50pm I ride Standing Ovation. He has had a really good summer. He won the big race at Newton Abbott, and the Badger Ales Chase the season before so he’s handicapped up to his best now. He ran OK over hurdles last time out. I was a bit disappointed he didn’t win but then the winner came out and won again since, so it probably wasn’t a bad race. He’s fit, he’s well, he just doesn’t hold too many secrets from the handicapper.
On Sunday I go and ride Dynaste in Auteuil. David has had a really good summer taking horses out to France and this looks like an ideal opportunity for Dynaste to start off in. It will just be great to get back on him. It’s 2 miles 3 furlongs so it might just be on the sharp side for him but Auteuil would be more like Newbury, so it rides just a bit further than anywhere else, as it’s a big galloping track. It will be great to ride him again, I’m really looking forward to it.
I won the big Champion Hurdle trial out there on Ballynagour earlier in the year. Unfortunately I then rode him in the Champion Hurdle itself and David’s other horse, Un Temps Pour Tout won it. So that didn’t leave me with happy memories but I’ve had a good summer over there and enjoyed that big win on Ballynagour and won plenty of prize money. This will be the fifth time I’ve been out there this summer. It’s well worth the trip, I’d advise anyone to go there. I always fly over there and then jump on the metro. I feel like Jamie Spencer for the day. It’s nearly always a day trip. I too Lottie over there for an overnight trip once this year, but it’s different visiting Paris when you’re working.
My aim for the season is just to keep my head down and ride as many winners as possible. Obviously you want to be champion jockey but realistically I just want to ride as many winners as possible and see what happens. If I ride 150 winners again this year, then I suppose I’ll nearly be satisfied. But being satisfied is not something I’m very good at. I’m only about 30 winners off riding 1,000 career winners so that’s a milestone I’ll look forward to hitting.